Tuesday, March 16, 2010

interview with Kota Kuramoto of OWN magazine

We had the privilege to interview Kota Kuramoto, the founder of OWN magazine. Most of you probably know the magazine and if you don't, you should. 

Who founded OWN magazine? What's his age? background? And place of birth?
Kota Kuramoto as a founder, age of 35, born in Tokyo who moved in New York in 1996.
“I started my career as  a men's clothes buyer for 2 years. After that I became fashion designer and in 2000 I opened up my own boutique in the Lower East Side. At the same time, I was working as a fashion editor for the magazine.”

Why & when was OWN founded, what's the philosophy behind it?
“When I was a fashion designer, I used to write some articles for fashion magazines as a contributor.
In my opinion, however, most of the fashion magazines had too many article and words...they didn’t focus on their main priority: fashion.
I became really tired of it, and started OWN in 2006 after I closed my store.
Regarding to the Fashion scene, I’ve always thought that aesthetic is one of the most important principles. Because of this I wanted to make a magazine which focused on photos and reinforced fashion as art.

What's a typical OWN article and visual, can we have an example?
The typical OWN article contains two parts: an Artist Interview & a beautiful still life story
In past issues we have interviewed people such as: 

Hiroshi Senju

    What type of reader does OWN target?
    We target people in their mid-to-late 20’s or early 30’s.  Of course we expect our readers to be people who like fashion, but also photography as well.

    What is the business strategy of OWN magazine? How is the magazine
    currently distributed?
    We continually try to work with the best people in the industry to get our name out there.  This includes working with modeling agencies such as ELITE and some of the best up-and-coming photographers and stylists in the industry.  Certainly, we want our name out there, but our main focus during our growth period is maintaining a quality publication and the initial vision for the magazine.
    Currently, OWN covers U.S (NY, CHICAGO, LA, SF), England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, France, and Japan. We have approximately 40,000 readers.

    What type of influence / inspiration is important for OWN magazine?
    Our main inspiration is a beautiful wardrobe, in any shape or size.  We also really love good design in general.

    How is OWN unique compared to other magazines?
    We don't have many article like other magazines. Most of the pages have only photos.  It’s all about eye candy.

    What will the future of OWN look like? What do you want to achieve with the magazine?
    I can only hope that OWN will have a long and lucrative career, and I hope that we do not stray from the original idea.

    Where does the name 'OWN' come from?
    When you read the name upside down and in reverse, NMO = N ew M ens O riginal

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